Enchanté

We haven't been quite as scheduled as pre-pandemic times, but back in July, the week before Cascade Lakes Relay, we drove up to Leavenworth for an epic day-off adventure run.


Colchuck Lake selfie


I had never been to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and I was in for a treat. We stayed the night at the Snow Lakes Trailhead, and caught an early shuttle to the Colchuck Lake Trailhead. 


Enchantments map


It's a good 4 miles to Colchuck Lake, getting a feel for the elevation, with the massive payoff of seeing the shockingly bright blue water. We got a little lost at one point, trying to follow the trail over big boulders, but figured it out and made the boulder-hopping journey over to Aasgard Pass.


Sunrise morning view from Snow Creek Trailhead


Just a note here: I'm so glad I knew absolutely nothing about this trail and Aasgard Pass. When Ann pointed it out across the lake, I thought she was just pointing out a feature; I had no idea that it was the trail.

Bridge to... a bunch of boulders


Aasgard Pass is a 4,400 ft climb to a high point of 7,800 ft. It's steep, all rocky, and sometimes quite a scramble. Ann was in her element, so I mostly tried to keep her in sight and stay in motion. The views, especially of Colchuck Lake directly below, were astounding. At times, mountain goats kept us company. And then, when we finally reached the top, we had arrived into a world of snow and rocky spires and the most stunning mountain lakes I can imagine.


Colchuck gorgeousness

It was a slow, leisurely run through the Core Enchantments Zone, passing lake after unbelievable lake, baby goats with their parents, alpine flowers, and amazing snow formations. I took hundreds of photos. 


Fireweed on Aasgard Pass


Finally, we got to the last zone-- the Snow Zone-- and past the slew of lakes into the dry, forested and granite-bouldered slopes. The scenery was so different, and even though it was downhill now, it wasn't much faster than the previous miles. The final 5.6 mile segment didn't have the same wow-factor, but it was nice to get moving a bit faster, as it was quite hot and sunny by this point. 


Colchuck from Aasgard Pass


We finally made it back to the car, hot, dirty, and so full of joy from the dazzle of our adventure. We high-tailed it to Seattle, where Ann's sister graciously let us shower and eat. Running the Enchantments end-to-end was an absolute highlight of the year. 













































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